A Pornographic Video Clip Tops Yahoo Korea

A pornographic video clip posted for about six hours on Yahoo Korea and soaring straight to the top of the most watched list on Sunday sent police into action. It was posted on Yahoo's pages for user-created content, which had been negligent in monitoring content. Experts, however, worry that similar incidents can happen any time since many sites lack an advance screening mechanism.

A scene from a one-minute porn video that was freely accessible on Yahoo Korea for five hours and 40 minutes until it was deleted at 11:40 pm on Sunday.

The one-minute clip was posted at around 6 pm on Yammy, Yahoo¡¦s UCC site, which does not require log-in or adult authentication from viewers, so children would have had unlimited access.

Presumed to have come from a Japanese adult site, the clip rapidly attracted some 25,000 viewers, sending it to the top of the automated "most popular video" list. Yahoo Korea did not find out about the clip, belatedly deleting it at 11:40 pm, five hours and 40 minutes after it was first posted, when the press had been alerted. Yahoo Korea apologized Monday and suspended the video posting function.

The Cyber Crime Investigation Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police have tracked a suspect through the IP address and other data, who could face imprisonment of up to a year or a fine of up to W10 million (US$1=W944).


A gang rape video posted on Naver in September 2006.

Porn clips are no rarity on UCC sites, but they are usually restricted or deleted by the site operators. But in reality, weak monitoring or hiding the clip with a disguised title make it possible for them to remain on the site for extended periods.

Last September, a clip showing a gang rape was accessible to the public for 18 days on Naver, the biggest portal site in Korea. An elementary student searching for "extraordinary ideas" for a homework assignment was referred to a blog showing the clip. 'Extraordinary ideas' was the ID of the blogger.

More commonly, porn videos are posted on UCC sites late at night, when monitoring is even more lax. A Naver staffer admitted that a large number of porn videos are hidden in the website, "but it's practically impossible to delete all of them."

Need for controls

A total of 260 staff monitor content on Naver, which has 16 million visitors a day. Since the staff work eight hours in three shifts, there are actually 90 people monitoring the site at any time. Yahoo Korea only has 50 people for the job. Yahoo Korea on Monday vowed to re-examine the UCC service. Experts say a fundamental solution is impossible without strengthening monitoring.

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